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DOD continues aid to combat wildfires in Northwest

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. (AFNS) -- Two Defense Department C-130 Hercules equipped with U.S. Forest Service Modular Airborne Fire Fighting Systems, or MAFFS, and under the command and control of U.S. Northern Command are assisting with wildfire suppression efforts in the Northwest, Great Basin, and elsewhere in the West at the request of the National Interagency Fire Center, or NIFC, in Boise, Idaho.

Since July 20, DOD aircraft have conducted 124 air drops and discharged more than 244,100 gallons of fire retardant, officials said.

Within the last 24 hours, crews conducted seven airdrops over fires in Idaho: two airdrops at the Arrow fire, discharging about 3,000 gallons of retardant, and five at the Koke fire, discharging about 11,500 gallons of retardant.

The supporting unit flying the MAFFS mission is Wyoming Air National Guard’s 153rd Airlift Wing, located in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard C-130s assigned to units in California, Colorado, North Carolina and Wyoming are capable of dropping fire retardant using U.S. Forest Service MAFFS units. Aircrews, maintenance crews and support personnel undergo special NIFC training and certification to perform missions each year.

(Information courtesy of a U.S. Northern Command news release)

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